When to Worry

Rebecca Walton

It is normal to have your heart race
When you foresee an unpleasant outcome
Like a heavy, pulsating weight in your chest
And you don’t know where it came from

Stress is a natural, human condition
With a biological basis undisputed
An emotion, a sensation, a feeling, a response
Its existence can’t be refuted

It’s not hard to understand what happens in your mind
Cortisol is secreted and hormones bind
The sympathetic system kicks into gear
You think “fight-or-flight?” as if facing fear

But why the prevalence among you and me?
Why does it manifest during adolescence?
Is it our schooling, our personal lives?
It seems like a curse upon our youthful essence

Do you tap your foot uncontrollably?
Or are you a nail biter instead?
Do you perspire when you’re thinking too much?
Do you ever feel sudden dread?

In class, on the street, at home, in texts
I hear of my peers’ anxiety
It has now been normalized
And continues infecting my society
Like a growing epidemic within my community
I feel a new sense of dread
Is anxiety unique or strangely prevalent?
Is this all in my head?

In the books we have terms to classify:
OCD, GAD, neuroses
So we believe we are making sense of it
As we go on making diagnoses
What is happening is we’ve reached a severe degree
When something human becomes clinical
We consider the amount one’s mind races
And classify it as critical

It’s all about balance, chemicals must be rationed
But all of our brains are uniquely fashioned
The imbalance of Serotonin has yielded medications
For that is the agreed mode of causation

I’m biased for I am a victim
I don’t know the best approach anymore
What is special? What is normal?
What I now know of anxiety is different from before

I choose to just see it how it is
An uncomfortable sensation within
The byproduct of situations and mental processes
That can cause your mind to spin
Anxiety creeps when my heart races
For me, that’s how it is detected
We’re all different, but we can share this promise:
We’ll forgive ourselves when affected

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